Tuesday, February 1, 2011

How I lost 87 lbs in 31 days

It has been 31 days and I have just lost 1/3 my body weight.

Actually, it's an update to the riveting account of my recycling challenge started in my previous post which weighed in (harhar) at the 18 day mark. I know, I know. It's hard hitting news and it's hard to contain yourselves. But wait! There's more!

We've now sent 87.5 lbs into recycling or reuse in just one month - about 1/3 my body weight (yes, I am large). That includes over 49 lbs of recyclables and 38 lbs (45%) of food waste and other compostable items. We've composted for some time, but if I wasn't counting, I would not have known it added up to that much.

The exciting highlights:
- 38 lbs (17 kg) compost, to the back yard
- 20.5 lbs (9.3 kg) of paper, box & corrugated cardboard
- 6.8 lbs (3 kg) of aluminum and steel food cans
- 8.4 lbs (3.8 kg) returnables (now worth a whopping $3.70)
- almost 2.5 lbs of loose bag plastic.

Because we have a bigger sample, it's getting easier to project out for the year ... we'll be closer to the 1,000 lb mark. If the proportion holds, that will include about 450 lbs of compost into my back yard, though I assume that proportion will grow as we get into the spring and summer with more seasonal, fresh foods. Hey, when 20lb bags of it cost $10 at Home Depot, I'll take it.

Last year, I had to empty my two backyard bins in order to move them, so I spread my compost out and buried it in an unfinished part of my 'garden' (dirt patch). Something started to grow - weeds, I thought, because I'm good at that. But they looked familiar, so I actually watered them. With little effort, a few months of sun, and some random luck, I ended up with about 80 lbs of spaghetti squash that took over my yard. Some seeds had survived my composter. Those and a half dozen tomato plants which also popped up in between.

I'm not yet into weighing the actual garbage portion of my waste yet. I can see that as a necessary evil to figure out how we can challenge ourselves to put out less trash and more recycling and compost. Hmmm. We'll see about after February ...

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